It’s hive time for murder in the latest Cranberry Cove mystery from national bestselling author Peg Cochran.
It's June in Cranberry Cove and Monica Albertson's plan to sell cranberry relish to chain stores is taking off. The cranberry bogs are in bloom, and local beekeeper Rick Taylor and his assistant Lori Wenk are bringing in bees to pollinate the blossoms. When a fatal prick fells Lori, the buzz is that Rick is to blame.
In trying to clear her friend’s name, Monica discovers that more than a few people in Cranberry Cove have felt the power of Lori’s venom, and it looks as if this time she may have agitated the hive a bit too much. With the fate of the farm on the line, Monica must get to the bottom of the crime before another victim gets stung.
INCLUDES CRANBERRY RECIPES
Third book in series!
Dead and Berried by Peg Cochran is the third book in A Cranberry Cove Mystery series. Monica Albertson lives on Sassamanash Farm in Cranberry Cove, Michigan and provides baked goods to the farm store on the property. The cranberry bogs are full of blooms, and it is time to pollinate the flowers. Jeff, Monica’s half-brother and owner of the farm, has hired Rick Taylor of Rick’s Bees. Rick and his assistant, Lori Wenk arrive at the farm with the bees, but are unable to release them that day due to the weather (honey bees do not like wet days). Monica is back in the farm kitchen finishing her baking when Jeff comes running in asking for her to call 911. Jeff found Lori on the ground near the bee hives. Bees are swarming near the hives where someone let them out and stirred them up. Lori was stung many times and has passed away. Detective Tammy Stevens arrives and starts asking questions. It appears to be an accidental death until the toxicology report proves otherwise. Rick is at the top of the suspect list and his wife, Nora is distraught (she works at the farm store). Monica begins making inquiries about Lori and discovers that Lori had been stirring up a hornet’s nest of her own. Could this have led to her murder? But what happens when Monica gets too close to discovering the killer’s identity?
Dead and Berried contains good writing, great characters (except Gina), charming small town and a good pace (makes it a pleasure to read). I thought Dead and Berried was an engaging novel that held my attention. I like that Monica does not sneak around behind Detective Stevens back doing her own investigation (I appreciate that there are no nasty cops either). The two work together (share information) to find the killer (such a nice change). Dead and Berried can be read alone (if you really want to). The author provides the necessary background information so a reader will not be lost or confused. I give Dead and Berried 4 out of 5 stars. One issue that I had with this book was the mystery. I could identify the killer early in the story (right after the body was discovered). I wish there had been a good twist (I love it when I do not solve the crime until late in the book or not at all). I liked the information about shipwrecks that occurred in Lake Michigan (a writer has moved to town). I found it fascinating. It was also interesting to discover that cranberry flowers need migratory honey bees (or bumble bees) brought in to help pollinate the flowers. They are not capable of self-fertilization. The one character that I do not like is Gina, Monica’s stepmother. She is a piece of work. I found her extremely annoying and self-centered. I keep hoping the author will decide to make Gina a victim of murder! The ending is sweet and romantic (happy sigh). There are cranberry recipes at the end of the book. I look forward to reading more books in A Cranberry Cove Mystery series.